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Comment Re:In Other Words (Score 1) 372

Occam's Razor is not a valid proof technique and involves a subjective judgment call. It is a way to move forward under uncertain conditions that has a pretty good track record though. One if it main strengths is that usually simpler constructs survive better and hence are more prevalent. In science and technology, it matches well with the golden rule of constructing anything, namely KISS.

There are some areas where it seems to fail catastrophically though. For example, in Physics, both Quantum Mechanics and Relativity are not consistent with it, or it is unclear what it would advocate. (To make matters worse, Quantum Mechanics and Relativity are also not consistent with each other, i.e. they cannot both be true unless Physics is even more fundamentally wrong.) Now, Occam's Razor would probably suggest here that somebody is messing with us and that makes the simulation scenario or the presence of a god that does it a likely scenario. On the other hand, there is really no good other evidence for those models.

In reality, Occam's Razor probably works best when amended to say "Prefer the most simple explanation, unless you have good indications it is way off, and move to more complex explanations when validation of the most simple one fails. Also make very sure you understand complexity and do that validation carefully."

Comment Re:In Other Words (Score 1) 372

It is one valid world model, because it could be true from what we can observe. But so is solipsism, for example, and some other bizarre constructs. You cannot derive the probabilities for any of the these models being the true one from theoretical arguments, and that is what Hossenfelder probably objects to, and rightfully so.

For a large collection of invalid "proofs" of a certain world model, look, for example, at the large collection of "proofs" that God exists.


Burglars Can Easily Make Google Nest Security Cameras Stop Recording (helpnetsecurity.com) 66

Orome1 quotes a report from Help Net Security: Google Nest's Dropcam, Dropcam Pro, Nest Cam Outdoor and Nest Cam Indoor security cameras can be easily disabled by an attacker that's in their Bluetooth range. The vulnerabilities are present in the latest firmware version running on the devices (v5.2.1). They were discovered by researcher Jason Doyle last fall, and their existence responsibly disclosed to Google, but have still not been patched. The first two flaws can be triggered and lead to a buffer overflow condition if the attacker sends to the camera a too-long Wi-Fi SSID parameter or a long encrypted password parameter, respectively. Triggering one of these flaws will make the devices crash and reboot. The third flaw is a bit more serious, as it allows the attacker to force the camera to temporarily disconnect from the wireless network to which it is connected by supplying it a new SSID to connect to. If that particular SSID does not exist, the camera drops its attempt to associate with it and return to the original Wi-Fi network, but the whole process can last from 60 to 90 seconds, during which the camera won't be recording. Nest has apparently already prepared a patch but hasn't pushed it out yet. (It should be rolling out "in the coming days.")

Comment Re:Stealth Layoff (Score 5, Insightful) 292

This is however really the most demented way to do it, because only those that are good at what they do (and hence have other prospects) will leave. The ones staying will include all that have no prospects. Do this several times and you may as well close down the department and re-start from scratch.

Why again are the people that make such decisions so much money? Oh right, because they know how to give the appearance of knowing how to do their job.

United States

'Sorry, I've Forgotten My Decryption Password' is Contempt Of Court, Pal - US Appeal Judges (theregister.co.uk) 509

Thomas Claburn, reporting for The Register: The US Third Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a lower court ruling of contempt against a chap who claimed he couldn't remember the password to decrypt his computer's hard drives. In so doing, the appeals court opted not to address a lower court's rejection of the defendant's argument that being forced to reveal his password violated his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. In the case under review, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held the defendant (referred to in court documents as "John Doe" because his case is partially under seal) in contempt of court for willfully disobeying and resisting an order to decrypt external hard drives that had been attached to his Mac Pro computer. The defendant's computer, two external hard drives, an iPhone 5S, and an iPhone 6 Plus had been seized as part of a child pornography investigation.

Hundreds of Cisco Switches Vulnerable To Flaw Found in WikiLeaks Files (zdnet.com) 76

Zack Whittaker, writing for ZDNet: Cisco is warning that the software used in hundreds of its products are vulnerable to a "critical"-rated security flaw, which can be easily and remotely exploited with a simple command. The vulnerability can allow an attacker to remotely gain access and take over an affected device. More than 300 switches are affected by the vulnerability, Cisco said in an advisory. According to the advisory, the bug is found in the cluster management protocol code in Cisco's IOS and IOS XE software, which the company installs on the routers and switches it sells. An attacker can exploit the vulnerability by sending a malformed protocol-specific Telnet command while establishing a connection to the affected device, because of a flaw in how the protocol fails to properly process some commands. Cisco said that there are "no workarounds" to address the vulnerability, but it said that disabling Telnet would "eliminate" some risks.

Company's Former IT Admin Accused of Accessing Backdoor Account 700+ Times (bleepingcomputer.com) 63

An anonymous reader writes: "An Oregon sportswear company is suing its former IT administrator, alleging he left backdoor accounts on their network and used them more than 700 times to search for information for the benefit of its new employer," reports BleepingComputer. Court papers reveal the IT admin left to be the CTO at one of the sportswear company's IT suppliers after working for 14 years at his previous employer. For more than two years, he's [allegedly] been using an account he created before he left to access his former colleagues' emails and gather information about the IT services they might need in the future. The IT admin was fired from his CTO job after his new employer found out what he was doing.
One backdoor, which enabled both VPN and VDI connections to the company's network, granted access to a "jmanming" account for a non-existent employee named Jeff Manning...

Comment Re:Chicken are deeply stupid (Score 1) 331

What does a limitation on scientific proof have to do with what happens in reality? Science does not define what is real. It only defines what can be proven scientifically to be real. It even has a hypothesis (Goedel's incompleteness) that states this, but cannot be proven itself. Throwing around terminology you do not understand does not make you look smart, it makes you look dumb.

Incidentally, you may well be wrong on that unfalsifiability. But since you obviously have no clue what you are talking about, I will overlook that, as you have nothing worthwhile to contribute anyways.

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